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By Roger

Oxfordshire, United Kingdom Gb

I wonder if anyone knows what this insect is that i have found quite a lot of right next to my runner beans.




ladybird larvea

23 Jun, 2012


Hi Roger, I've a feeling that is a Harlequin Ladybird larvae.
Not our native species, this originates from Asia and develops into a much larger and aggressive Ladybird. If I were you, I would pick them off and kill them or spray your runner bean plants.

23 Jun, 2012


I think you are right, Janey.

If you want to know more about the harlequin ladybird, have a look at this site:

23 Jun, 2012


whilst they do eat our natives they still eat aphids and other pests. personally i wouldnt kill them. they do more good than harm.

23 Jun, 2012


Thanks very much for the feedback it is much appreciated

23 Jun, 2012


We don't want our native species declining though Sbg, we have several types of Ladybird here, and the two-spot is definitely in decline since the invasion of these larger more predatory ones.

23 Jun, 2012


I agree about our declining natives, but if it is natural selection then that is the mechanics of evolution. the arrival of the harlequin was not human generated but natural prevailing winds etc. I certainly wont be killing any ladybird type. i dont think many people can actually tell the difference, especially in the final instar phase of our native and the penultimate phase of the harlequin. I wonder how many native larvae get killed every year because people dont know what they are?

25 Jun, 2012


I think we may have to agree to disagree on this one Sbg... Yes, it has come over on prevailing winds but from areas it had been taken to by man, to help to keep aphids off cereal crops. I realise you could go on forever with this debate, but I for one won't be sticking up for the bully boys, and will eradicate any I see.

25 Jun, 2012


as long as you are fully confident with your id Janey but small harlequins and large natives have a considerable size overlap. :o)

I havent read of farmers 'farming' them, I wonder how they keep them in their fields?

happy hunting :o)

26 Jun, 2012


Yes, I see what you mean Sbg, we have so many of the native 7 spot in the garden, that to see another type would be very unusual. I'm feeling very protective of these as they hibernated all winter here and have really kept the garden free of any aphids.

That's just it Sbg, the harlequins haven't kept to the areas they were destined for, they are migrating further afield.

No won't be hunting for any, but anyone that looks different, I shall give it a really close inspection!......:-))

26 Jun, 2012


well done you. so many just squish out of a reflex I suppose. It took me 5 yrs to get my oh out of this instinct with spiders.

one of my friends was happily killing lily beetles and then she showed me some she had caught. they had black heads and werent lily beetles at all.

Mind you I have a problem in not killing common wasps.... hate them with a passion and allergic to boot. why does mother nature have to make such scary things that are so good for the garden?

26 Jun, 2012


I have a real aversion to squishing or killing anything, but have to confess it's partly squeamishness. But OH is positively loving towards all insects. He will carefully deposit a greenfly onto a plant (!!!) if he finds one on his sleeve, talking reassuringly to it all the while! He has been known to continue to read a book with a wasp crawling on his moustache (after toast and marmalade in the garden!)

26 Jun, 2012

How do I say thanks?

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